Sunday, May 19, 2013
Bay State man waives right to jury trial in fatal stabbing
A Massachusetts man who is accused of killing an 81-year-old woman has waived his right to a jury trial.
Juan Contreras of Waltham, Mass., told a judge in Franklin County Superior Court on Tuesday that he understood his rights to have a jury trial.
The Sun Journal reported that the judge accepted the waiver and set aside five days for the trial in November.
Contreras, 28, has pleaded not guilty to the June 2011 stabbing death of Grace Burton in her Farmington home.
Police said Burton was stabbed 35 times. Before she died, she managed to call 911 and give police a description of her attacker.
Contreras is being held without bail. He was living in Farmington at the time of Burton's death. He was linked to the slaying through DNA.
Biddeford man, 32, charged after car swerves into marsh
A Biddeford man was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and driving after license suspension after he drove his car off the end of Martin's Point Bridge and into a tree, police said Wednesday.
Derek Johnson, 32, was treated for injuries after the crash, which happened at 9:30 a.m. Motorists reported that the northbound Toyota was weaving badly, crossing the centerline, almost hitting a car head-on and going onto the sidewalk, police said. The car then swerved through the southbound lane and off the road into the marsh.
When police arrived, Johnson had climbed up the embankment and was lying on the sidewalk, police said.
The man told police he was headed to visit a friend in Falmouth. They believe he had used some type of synthetic marijuana that can be purchased at convenience stores.
Three unions can join suit against retirement system
Three public worker unions have been allowed to join a lawsuit against the Maine Public Employees Retirement System over the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments.
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the Maine State Employees Association, Maine Education Association and Maine State Troopers Association can join the Maine Association of Retirees in its lawsuit filed in February.
The 15,000-member retirees association sued the retirement system over the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments for three years and a new cap on cost-of-living increases after that.
The unions say in the complaint that the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments for retired employees violated the Constitution as an unlawful taking of property without just compensation, and a violation of the contract clause.
The retirement system says the elimination will save the state millions of dollars.
Registered voters can get absentee ballot or vote now
Absentee ballots for the Nov. 6 election are now available.
Registered voters can request an absentee ballot by fax, email or in person at the City Clerk's Office. Voters also have the option to vote absentee in person at the City Clerk's Office between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 1. The office will extend its hours until 8 p.m. Nov. 1.
Residents voting by absentee ballot will receive a state ballot and one city ballot. All ballots are double-sided.
Only registered voters will receive an absentee ballot. To register to vote in Portland, residents must bring identification and proof of residency. Portland residents can register to vote at their polling place on Election Day.
Additional information about voting in Portland is available at www.portlandvoters.com or by calling the voter hotline at 874-8677.
Portland man, 23, arrested for theft, assaulting deputy
A Portland man has been charged with assaulting a sheriff's deputy after an alleged shoplifting incident Wednesday morning at a convenience store.
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